Balcombe has hosts dancing to Hampshire’s tune

Hampshire bowler David Balcombe. Picture: Robin Jones
Hampshire bowler David Balcombe. Picture: Robin Jones
Andrew Gorvin bowling for Havant.  Picture: Neil Marshall (171025-5)

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David Balcombe revealed that his start to the season is music to his ears after he showed why he is top of the pops with another fine performance.

Balcombe grabbed five wickets for 33 as Glamorgan were blown away by the rejuvenated seamer to close on 103 for nine.

After his extraordinary 11 for 119 in defeat to Gloucestershire in the opening match of the campaign last week, the Hampshire bowler already has 16 wickets for the season in just one-and-a-half games.

But while the 27-year-old suggested that his bowling has been hampered by too much thought in recent times, he recognises that he is currently brimming with confidence.

And it shows he is in the zone when he is even humming a few pop tunes before he starts his run-up.

He smiled: ‘When I was bowling last week I had the thought that suddenly I wasn’t actually thinking about bowling too much.

‘I just had a song going around in my head.

‘Slug (Sean Ervine) had put on some Shakira song in the dressing room and I had this beat in my head for the whole spell.

‘I think I’ve just got a lot more confidence.

‘I was given a lot of responsibility on loan at Kent last season, I was really backed and I was allowed to go out and express myself.

‘I think that has really helped my bowling and I get to my mark with a lot of confidence now.

‘It’s brilliant. I can’t actually put my finger on why I am taking wickets.

‘But I just want to stick with it because it’s going quite well at the moment.

‘I know there will be bad patches.

‘And I’m sure there will be times when the batsmen don’t nick the ball.

‘But I have set my stall out to be consistent.

‘I feel relaxed and I feel like I’m hitting the pitch as hard as I can and I’m hitting the right areas.

‘I haven’t been thinking about taking wickets.

‘I’m just thinking about bowling dot balls and maidens.

‘The batsmen just keep nicking it or missing it.

‘I don’t really know what’s going on.

‘It’s ridiculous really.’

Balcombe was well backed by the rest of the Hampshire bowling unit as the Welsh club were put to the sword for their lowly total.

But Glamorgan skipper Mark Wallace’s bizarre decision to declare at 103 for nine after a lengthy rain delay left Balcombe scratching his head as Hampshire closed day one on 29 for one in reply.

He said: ‘I was surprised. I thought they might try to eke out a few more on that pitch.

‘In a potentially low-scoring game, they could have made us work for that last wicket and they could have got 15-20 runs. They could be valuable.

‘But hopefully the guys are hungry and want to rectify some of the dismissals they got last week.

‘We’ve got a cracking top order and hopefully they can get some runs because we’re in quite a good position.’